Customer Service

So I bought a new Audiovox Smartphones recently - and with it a plan from ATT Wireless (before the merger with Cingular) that included unlimited data for something like $25 a month. I've been really enjoying the unlimited data - especially because Windows Mobile 2003 supports sync'ing with Exchange servers over the air - and being able to get calendar and mail updates to my phone without cradling has been a total luxury.

In any case - I got my first bill over the weekend and to my surprise there was no unlimited wireless - in its place was a charge for over $500.00 for downloading approximately 20MB of data over the course of the billing cycle. So I quickly became upset about this and called Cingular's customer service. After getting aggrivated by the wacky voice-recognition interface for a while it eventually put me on hold for 19 minutes after which I was given the gracious opportunity to speak with a human being!

I explained the situation to the Cingular rep and after pulling up my account information she explained that the guy at the store who set up my service initially failed to put the data service on my account for whatever reason. She said she could add the data service but in order to reverse the $500 charge, she would have to put me back on hold for another 10 minutes. So 15 more minutes go by - during which I get to listen to this maddening loop of elevator music behind a perky voice telling me about how I can keep my phone and my plan even though the company got acquired.

Here's the kicker - eventually the lady comes back on the line and says she not only got the charges reversed, but she credited my account the entire month's bill  - almost 100 dollars!

And I was happy. It's a little wierd - having truly terrible service was so easliy overcome by compensating my time with money. Go figure...